CAIRO: Ambulance drivers went to the Ministry of Health yesterday demanding that the results of an internal inquiry conducted with them be released.
Driver Mohamed El-Samy told Daily News Egypt that he and 14 other drivers were questioned on Sunday by a legal affairs committee.
“The committee found that we had done nothing wrong, but when we tried to go to work on Monday we were prevented from entering the building and told that we wouldn t be allowed to work until the [Land and River Specialized Ambulance Center] administration has received the results of the inquiry, El-Samy said.
The inquiry concerned alleged damage to the chassis of ambulances driven by the 15 men.
Lawyer Ahmed Ezzet linked the timing and subject of the inquiry to a strike and sit-in staged by drivers last week.
“While it is not openly linked to the strike and sit-in, the timing of this inquiry – a day after the strike ended – strongly suggests that drivers are being punished for the action, Ezzet told Daily News Egypt.
“In addition, drivers were being questioned about bumps and scratches to the ambulances caused by, for example, someone driving into the back of them. This is not something they can control.
El-Samy and the other drivers expressed fears that they will be marked as being absent during the days which they are being prevented from going to work, and that this will be used as a pretext for their dismissal.
Head of administration of critical care Mohamed Sultan dismissed these fears.
“They drivers can t resume work until we ve received the results of the inquiry from the legal affairs committee, Sultan said.
“Hopefully the drivers will be cleared of all faults and they ll go back to work as normal. The days during which they are not at work because of the inquiry will not be marked as absence and they therefore will not face any disciplinary action.